I am often surprised when someone tells me that they are or aren't doing something because they are concerned about another's person's reaction. They don't want to cause anger, sadness or fear in the other person so they change their own behaviours thinking that this will alleviate trouble.
Well, there are a number of things to consider about this:
1. We each experience a very wide range of emotions.
2. What we do with our feelings is a choice that each of us makes.
3. When a person states that s/he cannot control their emotions, think about a time that they were in the middle of a "hissy fit" but suddenly stopped because they noticed another person was watching.
4. We are only responsible for our own feelings and the way that we deal with them.
5. If you think that you can control another person's feelings you are wrong.
6. When another person blames you for how they are feeling, weigh the information before you agree or feel guilty.
7. Some people hold others hostage by blaming, threatening aggression or suicide, throwing temper tantrums or retreating from the relationship.
8. Abuse should never be allowed in a relationship.
9. People tend to live their lives with patterns of behaviour so past behaviour is usually a predictor of future behaviour.
10. Talking and negotiating does not always work. Sometimes a person agrees with you just to end the conversation but has no intention of doing what was planned or supposedly agreed upon.
11. Promises to change do not guarantee change. It is easy to say "I will never do this again" but not necessarily easy to follow through.
12. If a person makes a positive change and can maintain it for eighteen months, it will likely last for a lifetime. (Yes, I said eighteen months - not days!)
13. Repeatedly forgiving a person who promises to change but doesn't do anything to facilitate the change means that you are kidding yourself.
14. If you are having relationship problems, perhaps you are the one who needs to get help.
There are four basic styles of behaviour that individuals adopt:
1. Passive people don't know what they want or how to ask for it in a healthy manner. They allow others to be in charge but then often feel resentful or victimized.
2. Aggressive people bully others in order to get what they want. They often present as though they are confident but usually have a low self-image.
3. Passive/Aggressive people make life difficult for others in "sneaky" indirect ways such as gossiping.
4. Assertive skills include having good boundaries, knowing what you need and ensuring that those needs are met in a healthy manner.
What style do you use most often? Are you creating monsters in your life or are you a monster to others?
Time to make some positive changes.
And now I would like to invite you to claim your Free Instant Access to a complimentary list of 10 Steps to Making Your Life an Adventure when you visit http://lindahancock.com
From Dr. Linda Hancock, Registered Psychologist and Registered Social Worker